Sanaa. At least three anti-regime protesters were wounded when anti-riot police attempted to disperse hundreds of protesters by batons in Yemen’s southeast province of Hadramout on Sunday, Xinhua News Agency informs.
“Three protesters were injured by batons of policemen after they refused to move back from the gate of police station in Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadramout,” the official told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.
“Police did not open fire, but used batons in breaking up the protest demanding the overthrow of the regime,” he added without elaborating further.
Inspired by the Egyptian popular uprising, thousands of Yemenis have staged daily protest rallies in the streets of major cities across the country since Feb. 11, demanding an end to the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Saleh pledged earlier this month to stand down from office after his presidential term expires in 2013 and promised not to hand power over to his son.
He vowed on Saturday that the army forces will take “full responsibility” to protect the unity of his nation, blaming conspiracies for seeking to ignite unrest and split the country.
“There were conspiracies against the national unity of Yemen, and we, in the armed forces, have sworn allegiance to preserve the republican regime of Yemen, its unity and territorial integrity until the last drop of our blood,” Saleh said, cited by official news agency Saba.